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Old February 22nd, 2008, 07:04 AM
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Default CM Staffer Recommends Taking Wine into Lounges

This is exerpted from Rita's article entitled "Cruising on a Budget:"

Quote:
But, if having soda readily available onboard is not that important to you or the kids, you can save a lot of money by bringing your own. Most cruise lines will allow you to bring a reasonable supply of soft drinks and wine onboard. It's only hard liquor that's generally forbidden. So, why not bring a couple of bottles of wine and enjoy "cocktail hour" in your cabin? Your kids can enjoy their sodas from the limited supply in the fridge. You can even pour your glass of wine and bring it along with you to dinner or a lounge. There's nothing wrong with that. Unlike a bar on land, many people just sit and enjoy the before-dinner music. They don't ever buy a drink.
Emphasis has been added by me. I think this is a terrible recommendation. Even when it is allowed to bring onboard wine, it is not proper to drink outside of your cabin nor take into the restaurant without paying a corkage fee (at least on most lines). I think that CruiseMates should edit this article to take out this advice.
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Old February 22nd, 2008, 07:17 AM
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Take it to the Gripes Board, Marc!
Long time no see, no chat Marc. I did read your post about your Med cruise in Paul's summer plans thread! Great stuff and congrats Marc!
Those are both excellent itineraries.


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Old February 22nd, 2008, 11:16 AM
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Kuki used to write passionately in support of your point of view, Marc.

Now that he's sold the bar he probably doesn't care anymore.

I agree with you. Rita is completely off base on this, and I'm surprised CM let it through as a matter of editorial policy. The same rules of taste and decency should apply here as on land. It's not OK to take a drink from your room to the hotel bar; it should be no different aboard ship. It's tacky and tasteless.
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Old February 22nd, 2008, 11:37 AM
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Quote:
Now that he's sold the bar he probably doesn't care anymore.

My next article is actually an handbook with step by step illustrations of how to properly pack your beer and liquor to ensure it's not confiscated...along with the top 10 reasons to bring your Hibatchi
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Old February 22nd, 2008, 12:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kuki
................along with the top 10 reasons to bring your Hibachi





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Old February 22nd, 2008, 05:19 PM
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................along with the top 10 reasons to bring your Hibachi



I laughed at this one so hard that I had to run to the bathroom. Thanks Kuki!

So when is the book coming out on how to bring booze on board without getting caught. ha ha ha ha ha
That one is also funny....most of you know that was one of my former questions. I have since stopped asking about that one.

I was thinking of bringing a six pack or two of Pepsi, since Carnival only has Coke, which I don't like.

Do you think it would look bad if I had the Pepsi and some wine? I wan't sure?
I know you will guide me with the right answer.

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Old February 22nd, 2008, 07:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kuki
along with the top 10 reasons to bring your Hibatchi
Kuki, be careful with your Hibachi tips; death by Hibachi is one of the preferred methods of suicide here.
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Old February 23rd, 2008, 10:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marc
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kuki
along with the top 10 reasons to bring your Hibatchi
Kuki, be careful with your Hibachi tips; death by Hibachi is one of the preferred methods of suicide here.
Ouch, Marc - are we talking about the same kind of hibachi, or is that also a type of sword or something? (although I wouldn't doubt that where i live someone at some time has died by trying to use a hibachi to heat their house...)
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Old February 23rd, 2008, 10:22 AM
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Quote:
Do you think it would look bad if I had the Pepsi and some wine?
Don't know about you Redwitch, but that's not a taste combination I could stomach!

donna
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Old February 23rd, 2008, 10:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rollerdonna
Quote:
Do you think it would look bad if I had the Pepsi and some wine?
Don't know about you Redwitch, but that's not a taste combination I could stomach!

donna
you beat me to the "punch" Rollerdonna (pun intended)
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Old February 23rd, 2008, 10:29 AM
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Donna:


Too funny.....I am so glad that others on these boards have a sense of humor....

You were joking weren't you

I don't want to be stopped trying to bring in a bottle of wine and 2 six packs of Pepsi on board...

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Old February 23rd, 2008, 11:21 AM
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You can bring soft drinks and wine onboard. If you want the wine served in the dining room they charge a corkage fee.
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Old February 23rd, 2008, 11:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rollerdonna
Quote:
Do you think it would look bad if I had the Pepsi and some wine?
Don't know about you Redwitch, but that's not a taste combination I could stomach!

donna
Was it Laverne or Shirley that drank Pepsi and milk?

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Old February 23rd, 2008, 02:32 PM
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Marc...

I appreciate your point of view on this. I just want to point something out about this article. While we obviously don't have a policy of recommending ways to break the rules of the cruise lines, this recommendation about taking the wine glass with you out of your room is not against the rules.

Putting it in perspective, we are talking about one glass. If they wanted another glass they would have to go back to their room to get it. I think most people would be far too self-conscious to get up from their dining room table carrying an empty wine glass, go to their room and refill it, and walk back into the dining room with a fresh glass. You would stand out like you were wearing a tank-top that said "This isn't a glass of wine, its fuel for a sex machine."

I know Rita, and she is the first person to point out that cruise lines have a right to make a profit, and she often wonders why people make such a big deal out of cruise lines charging for extras - or what some people call "nickel & diming." She says that cruise lines are businesses and people should be adult enough to understand and respect that.

In any case - the recommendation isn't for EVERYONE to bring wine from their cabins. The article is for those people that I feel too often get treated kind of poorly in cruise message boards.

I am talking about the people who have fixed incomes and have to get by going paycheck to paycheck. There is no reason to assume these are not good people just because they aren't blessed with not having to struggle financially.

People with marginal incomes deserve to be able to take a cruise just as much as anyone else. Yet, I personally get sad when I see someone ask a question like "Our son is growing so fast we really don't want to buy him a dinner jacket we know he is going to outgrow in a few months just so he can eat in the dining room on lobster night. Would it be OK to let him dine without a jacket"

I have actually seen people reply to questions like this with answers like "If you can't afford to dress him appropriately he shouldn't be going on the cruise." I just think that is uncompassionate.

So, the target of the article is people who have borderline incomes but who want to have the same experience, maybe just once, as the people who don't have to check the price of everything they want to buy in the grocery store before it goes in the cart. I don't see anything wrong with Rita giving a little "secret" tip to such people, as I believe the vast majority of people who can afford to buy their wine by the glass or to go on inclusive cruise lines will not do such a thing. Most human beings prefer not to break societal rules if they don't have to, but we are not all equally blessed financially. So, I ask that our readers not be too judgemental.

Last night my wife and I were asked in a parking lot by a very well dressed lady if I could give her some money for gas for her car. She was obviously not a vagrant, (designer purse, office apparel) but a victim of temporary circumstances I didn't ask her to explain to me, I just gave her a couple of dollars. My point is, good people sometimes have money problems and I think it is best not to be judgemental about how that reflects what is in their hearts.
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Old February 23rd, 2008, 02:39 PM
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Paul:
You made me feel very good while reading your post. I agree with you that there are times that not as good as they may have been in the past.

We save for cruises as I am guessing others do also. We try to keep to the rules also. I also try to save while on a cruise..that is why I asked about taking Pepsi on board and maybe a bottle of wine for the cabin.

Thank you so much for stating your message so well. Many will be able to idendify with it.

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Old February 23rd, 2008, 02:54 PM
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Thank you, Darlene.

As I was boarding a Carnival ship a few weeks ago I witnessed someone being stopped at the x-ray machine because they had a bottle of tequila in their suitcase. It actually turned into quite a production to get the "proper authorities" from security there to confiscate it.

I think the point was, if you buy an expensive bottle of tequila and have to forfeit it, you want to know it isn't going into someone else's private bar. I also think it was a little embarassing to the person trying to sneak it.

In any case, I also think it is interesting to look at the beverage policies of various cruise lines. Carnival, the line many people vilify as being "low-class" is classy enough to allow people to bring a bottle of wine onboard Here is their policy...

Quote:
Guests (21 years and older only) may bring one bottle (750 milliliter) of wine or champagne per person on board only during embarkation at the beginning of the cruise. A $10 corkage fee per bottle will be charged should you wish to consume this wine in the dining room or a $14 corkage fee per bottle in the Supper Club. Guests may bring a small quantity of non-alcoholic beverages.

All alcohol, additional quantities of wine/champagne or excessive quantities of non-alcoholic beverages will be confiscated and discarded without compensation. Guests may purchase a variety of beverages on board the ship. Alcoholic beverages will not be sold or served to anyone under the age of 21. We reserve the right to refuse the sale of alcoholic beverages to anyone. Alcoholic beverages purchased in the ship’s gift shops or in ports of call will be retained by Carnival until the end of the voyage.

LARGE COOLERS RESTRICTION:
Carnival Cruise Lines does not allow guests to bring large coolers on board its vessels. Small, personal-sized coolers no larger than 12? x 12? x 12? for the purpose of housing small quantities of non-alcoholic beverages and/or medications are permitted as carry-on luggage. Screening and movement of large coolers through embarkation is an impediment to the boarding and security screening process and therefore large coolers are not permitted as carry-on or checked luggage.
Meanwhile, some cruise lines people regard as "classier" do not allow people to bring wine onboard at all. I think it is a generous thing for Carnival to allow people to bring a bottle of wine for consuming in their cabins. I also believe, though I won't state it for a fact, that if you buy a single "souvenir" bottle of wine in port that they will not take it away - though I could be wrong and I have not tested the theory lately.
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Old February 23rd, 2008, 03:10 PM
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Paul, I agree with you to a point when it comes to being compassionate for people who may have to scratch and save to go on a cruise.
My point stops at smuggling booze.
If a person cannot afford the extra 50 dollars a bar set up will cost over the liquor store price (4 bottles of name brand liquor), then maybe booze shouldn't receive such a priority. Probably shouldn't be purchased in the first place.

Just my opinion
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Old February 23rd, 2008, 03:50 PM
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No one is advocating smuggling booze. The wine was allowed onboard by the cruise line.

I reiterate that I think it is a classy gesture on the part of the cruise lines that they DO allow people to bring a bottle of wine on board. And upon re-reading the policy I posted, it does not say the wine must be consumed in the cabin.

I don't recommend taking the bottle out of the cabin unless you are prepared to pay a corkage fee and I don't advocate carrying the empty glass back to your room, refilling it and returning to the dining room. You'll stick out like a sore thumb and embarass yourself. Walking into the dining room initially with a glass of wine is normal because people bring in what they were drinking while waiting for dinner. But walking in with one in the middle of dinner would make what you are doing obvious because no one would leave a dining room to buy a glass of wine.

When I write things like this, I wonder what people who haven't cruised yet must be thinking.
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Old February 23rd, 2008, 05:14 PM
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I stopped trying to think of ways to "smuggle" booze onto the ship.

If I will be permitted to take a couple of six packs Pepsi and a bottle of Asti with me then I will be happy.


It's been 8 years since we have cruised and I am seeing changes. I have no problem with these changes, I just have to get used to them.

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Old February 23rd, 2008, 05:17 PM
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Since I don't really drink much... I take a more pragmatic approach to the "booze" question. Just from my own experience of what I've witnessed on cruises.

First off the cruise lines do view and treat wine differently from other liquor. Most cruise lines allow a bottle or two, even in your carry on at embarkation.

Frankly I think the cruise line's "booze rules" are like other behavioral rules they print. They don't really enforce them, or they enforce them in only partially. (And that's also leads to many other issues we see come up on the boards) They do enforce the rule if you have the booze in your carry on luggage, they don't if you bring it on in your checked luggage.

I do always laugh when people share their "booze smuggling" tips.. like emptying water bottles or mouth wash bottles, etc. to fill with liquor. If the cruise lines really wanted to enforce their NO liquor rules, they'd simply make it the responsibility of the cabin stewards to report any violations... on the threat of dismissal.

So, I think all the "secrets of smuggling" aren't at all necessary. You want liqour in your cabin, pack it in your carry on without all the theatrics.

I do think people should keep it for in cabin consumption. The thing is way too many people do go back to their cabin and fill their rather humongous "sports drink cups" with drinks, and do run back to their cabins for refills. I couldn't be bothered just for a drink, but lots of people do it... which I don't understand.

I bring sodas along for my in cabin use (it is allowed), but I'd never run back to the cabin to get a soda. I just buy them in public areas.

I compare this to a stay in a land based hotel. No hotel property would stop you from having drinks in your room. It would however be a different story if you brought your own drinks to the hotel's public areas.

Also if this trend keeps growing, I do believe the cruise lines will begin to take a more hard line approach (as I described above with cabin stewards) to end the practice of people bringing their own liquor onboard at all.

An entirely other topic is going on cruises when you can't afford to go... which in some ways relates to this topic. Do we really think it's wise to cruise on credit, when we really can't afford to go? Is that a part of living above your means, and a part of the I want it now syndrome that gets people into financial difficulties?

To be clear, I don't think cruising is only for the rich. Cruising is inexpensive enough to be affordable to most everyone. But I don't think people should go into debt to vacation. But then I guess that's why I didn't go on my first cruise until I was 44.
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Old February 23rd, 2008, 05:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kuki
Quote:
Now that he's sold the bar he probably doesn't care anymore.

My next article is actually an handbook with step by step illustrations of how to properly pack your beer and liquor to ensure it's not confiscated...along with the top 10 reasons to bring your Hibatchi
Kuki, I really enjoy your good sportsmanship.
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Old February 23rd, 2008, 05:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marc
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kuki
along with the top 10 reasons to bring your Hibatchi
Kuki, be careful with your Hibachi tips; death by Hibachi is one of the preferred methods of suicide here.
Oh my gosh Marc, you guys are "killing" me.
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Old February 23rd, 2008, 05:32 PM
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We "broke" the spirit of the law on the Conquest crusie. The first time I have ever done this so <putting hands in front together at the wrists> take me in.. . Since it ws a last minute honeymoon cruise, I placed two bottles of fabulous wine in our luggage and we took it onboard and enjoyed it over a 5 day period, all the time in our cabin. Never felt guilty or dirty or that we got one over on the cruiseline. I put the cork back on the bottle and placed it into the refrigerator for the next time. We never once took the alcohol outside the cabin.

In fact, I only purchased two alcoholic drinks of my own. I guess I am getting older and slowing down.
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Old February 23rd, 2008, 05:37 PM
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This post has cleared up many questions about booze, wine and soda(we call it pop) it's a Pittsburgh thing.

I will take the pepsi and the wine. I also do take a insulated sports bottle and fill it with either ice water or the lemon aid for when I lounge on deck in my bikini.. I wish


Thanks again for always give good advise.

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Old February 23rd, 2008, 06:17 PM
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I too never advocated, in my article on Budget Cruising, "smuggling" booze onto the ship. When I talked about the wine and soda, I clearly said that many cruise lines will permit reasonable quantities of wine and soda (and bottled water) to be brought onboard at embarkation.

As for bringing a glass of wine into a lounge with you, on my Holland America cruises, I've often seen this, and it is totally allowed. Be aware, though, that at least on Holland America, if you don't order a drink in the lounge, you probably won't be offered nuts or a plate of appetizers. True, I probably wouldn't bother lugging wine onboard ... simply because for me it would seem to be far less trouble to just buy a wine card and get my pours that way. But I've seen other passengers do it, and I've also seen tablemates arrive at the dinner table with a glass of wine in hand (presumably from the lounge) or maybe from their private cabin stash ... who knows? I've never seen any of them chastized for doing it, and I personally don't think there's anything wrong with it.

I've always felt that we each keep our own counsel in terms of items such as tipping and smuggling booze onboard, and I would never attempt to tell people what to do in those areas. Smuggling booze often does not work, and all it amounts to is having your booze confiscated at embarkation, and returned to you at disembarkation. Then what did you gain? You only have to worry about packing that booze up in your luggage again, and hoping to God it makes it home in one piece.

It's wonderful for those of us who can afford to spend with a reasonable degree of abandon on our cruises. We're on vacation and we like to think that we can treat ourselves nice and then scrimp when we get home. But there are some of us who live under tight budgets and a cruise (or any vacation) is a real luxury, something that has to be planned and carefully budgeted for. In those cases, there is nothing wrong with trying to save a buck, whether that be by arranging low cost shore tours instead of taking the ship's tours, or bringing your own stash of wine and soda aboard (where, of course, such is allowed).

Personally, if I were to be faced with a cruise on a strict budget, or no cruise at all ... guess which one I would choose?

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--rita
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Old February 23rd, 2008, 06:22 PM
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Default Re: CM Staffer Recommends Taking Wine into Lounges

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marc
This is exerpted from Rita's article entitled "Cruising on a Budget:"
I think this is a terrible recommendation. Even when it is allowed to bring onboard wine, it is not proper to drink outside of your cabin nor take into the restaurant without paying a corkage fee (at least on most lines). I think that CruiseMates should edit this article to take out this advice.
I've seen lots of people do it, Marc ... and the bar staff seems to understand too. If the cruise line allows its passengers to bring their own wine onboard, then obviously they realize that some folks are gonna opt out of buying wine in the lounges or at dinner. As for the corkage fees, why should one expect to pay a corkage fee if she just brings a glass with her to dinner? Maybe she got it in a lounge and just didn't have time to finish it there.

I stand by my recommendation. I see nothing wrong with this at all as long as the wine was brought onboard the ship "legally." The same with soda. Do you feel that parents traveling with maybe three or four kids should be required to buy soda cards for each and every kid? What's wrong with those parents bringing soda onboard and then replenishing the supply in various ports as they go along? As long as the cruise line permits soda to be brought onboard, I see nothing wrong with this.

I certainly never advocated "smuggling" in my article. I merely listed bringing your own wine onboard where such is allowed by the cruise line. If it's not permitted, then you have to make your own decision about what to do and my article certainly would never presume to offer advice in that area.

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--rita
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Old February 23rd, 2008, 06:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Motter
No one is advocating smuggling booze. The wine was allowed onboard by the cruise line.
You are correct. I blended your compassion comments with the numerous posts/threads asking how to sneak booze on board.
I apologize if you thought I was putting words in your mouth.
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Old February 23rd, 2008, 06:32 PM
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Oh, you guys are just too funny!! I have to agree, I think its in poor taste to bring drinks from your cabin to any lounge, pool, or dinner...Fine for in your cabin, but if you want a mixed drink or wine with dinner, order through them..
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Old February 23rd, 2008, 06:39 PM
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Originally Posted by AR
I agree with you. Rita is completely off base on this, and I'm surprised CM let it through as a matter of editorial policy. The same rules of taste and decency should apply here as on land. It's not OK to take a drink from your room to the hotel bar; it should be no different aboard ship. It's tacky and tasteless.
I disagree. There is a big difference between a bar on the ship and a bar on land. On land, I didn't pay anything to use that facility. Therefore, if there is a band playing at the local lounge that night that I'd like to go and hear, it is only right that the bar expects me to buy drinks (or at least over-priced sodas) if I am taking up a seat there. Unless they charge me a cover at the door, they have the right to expect to make some money off me while I am in their establishment.

Not so on the ship. On the ship, I have already paid my "cover charge" when I paid my cruise fare. I am entitled to use the public facilities, including the lounges and bars. There is nothing wrong with me going in there, maybe bringing my glass of wine that I poured in the cabin, or my Coke, and enjoying the music. My cruise fare, in effect, is paying for me being there.

I feel that enjoying a glass of wine or a Coke that you brought from your cabin is fine. Of course, you probably won't be offered any nuts or appetizers if you don't buy a drink, but that's to be expected.

If a family is on a tight budget, I do not consider this to be "tasteless or tacky" at all. The family paid their cruise fares to be onboard that week and that fare allows them to enjoy the entertainment around the ship.

Believe me, if you want "tasteless and tacky," I could have related some other stories I've heard ... such as the one parent who used to routinely buy only one Coke sticker for all four of her children. While sitting out by the pool, Johnny would go up first and get a glass of Coke. Then he would pass the cabin card with the sticker onto Susie, who would then go up to the pool bar and get her's. This would go on until all the kids had Coke, and by that time, Johnny would be ready for a refill and the whole process would start again. Why do you think many cruise lines abandoned the unlimited Coke stickers for punch cards? Now, at least to me, that's tasteless and tacky because that's cheating. What I propose is not cheating at all.

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--rita
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Old February 23rd, 2008, 07:20 PM
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Well.......For me Rita wins this round. I usually have a pretty hefty cabin bill purchasing Carnival beverages so I feel no guilt. On the occasions I have left the cabin with a glass in hand I have never felt tasteless or tacky. Gosh....Maybe the tastless and tacky are the last to know.
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